Ceramic Bearings

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Ceramic Bearings

Post by Admin on Thu Sep 13, 2007 9:50 pm

Ceramic Bearing on Roadie Bottom Brackets, wonder if this will creep into MTB components

The word of the day at the FSA booth was ceramic. FSA has been working closely with the Danish firm, CeramicSpeed, to offer ceramic bearing upgrades on a number of drivetrain components.

The ceramic bearings, made of silicon nitride, offer hugely reduced friction, dramatically lighter weight, and reportedly, practically infinite life spans as compared to even the best steel bearings. Upgrade kits will be available for external bottom brackets (including non-FSA branded ones), cartridge bearing hubsets, as well as derailleur pulley wheels. According to the manufacturer, a full accoutrement of ceramic bearings can save as much as a full second per kilometer in a time trial.


The ceramic bearing on the right



Interestingly, the manufacturer is also quite sure that Tyler Hamilton was the only rider to use ceramic bearings in the Olympic time trial. How's he so sure? Well, there aren't exactly a bunch of people making these things, and he still has the copy of the check from Tyler (yes, he actually paid for these himself, and they're not cheap).

Skeptics of Tyler's innocence cite the whopping 19 second advantage he held over second place in that race, but if these projected time savings are accurate.... well, you do the math. I'm not taking sides here, but it is rather interesting nonetheless, don't you think? Complete external bottom brackets will run about $249USD and complete hub upgrades will cost consumers about $300-400 for six cartridge bearings. Sure, it sounds like a lot, but what's that podium spot worth to you?
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